(MainsGS2:Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.)
- The controversy over the very meaning of ‘We the People’, after the speech made by the Vice-President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Jagdeep Dhankhar was erupted as he viewed that ‘We the People’ essentially gives primacy to elected members of Parliament and the State legislatures.
- The Vice-President of India implied that the separation of powers does not equate the three pillars of democracy: Parliament, judiciary and the executive.
- But apart from being enshrined in the Constitution, the theory of a separation of powers is basic to any democratic society, more than the letter of the Constitution.
- But democracies cannot be run only by the laws passed in representative Assemblies rather need conventions too.
Traditions in other democracies:
- In the United States, the President has the power to appoint judges, although this should be endorsed by Congress.
- But the President is directly elected by the people and has prerogatives in several issues which do not apply to a parliamentary democracy.
- The Prime Minister-in-cabinet does not have the powers of the U.S. President and hence the possibility of a judicial review to check the suitability or otherwise of the candidates nominated.
- In the case of the United Kingdom, it is run by time-honored conventions and laws passed by the House of Commons.
- It does not have a written Constitution which gives judicial review but strong conventions are in place in spite of the primacy of Parliament.
- Even in Parliament, the Speaker of the House of Commons is elected, but becomes a non-party man, choosing when to retire from office.
Centre state relations:
- The separation of powers acceptable to the Centre is not applied to the States, where an appointed Governor can defy not only the legislature but also the elected government.
- Ruling parties pushing for greater centralisation not only within constitutional institutions at the Centre but also in States which are ruled by parties other than the national ruling party.
- This goes against the very dignity of the people of a State as inferior to a higher power outside their State, the constitutional validity of which rightly needs the judiciary as the final judge.
- Unless conventions are solidified into constituent laws and bound by strong threads, institutions may even be destroyed, endangering the very purpose of a Constitution protecting the citizen.